Verse > Anthologies > Walter Murdoch, comp. > The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse
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Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).  The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse.  1918.
 
170. Brogan’s Lane
 
By Louis Esson
 
 
THERE’S a crack in the city—down that sharp street
  In couples, and armed, tramp rozzers on beat.
Like a joss, silhouetted across the pane,
A Chinese face watches down Brogan’s Lane,
    Brogan’s Lane, Brogan’s Lane,        5
A reeling moon blinks over Brogan’s Lane.
 
Flash Fred, when he dives on a red lot, sneaks thro’
To moscow the swag with a Polaky Jew.
Tho’ rooked by old Shylock, he needn’t complain,
The melting pot bubbles in Brogan’s Lane,        10
  Brogan’s Lane, Brogan’s Lane,
Rats pinch from their cobbers down Brogan’s Lane.
 
And Jenny, fresh down from the country, goes gay
And drives to the races and laughs at the play;
Till one morn, lying out in the cold and the rain,        15
A body is perished in Brogan’s Lane,
  Brogan’s Lane, Brogan’s Lane,
There’s only one turn to the long last lane.
 
With opium dens, sly cribs, bones and rags,
’Tis the haunt of thieves, wastrels, poor women and vags.        20
They booze to bring joy, they sin to numb pain,
But there’ll come a stretch at the end of the lane,
  Brogan’s Lane, Brogan’s Lane,
The river and morgue shadow Brogan’s Lane.
 

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